Favourite Photo Moments of 2018

January 28, 2019

It's time for my favourite blog post of the year - my look back at the past year's highlights! Here, without any further ado, they are...


InFocus Exhibit

I was privileged to participate, for my second time, in the annual InFocus Photo Exhibit in Edmonton, Alberta. The show took place in February 2018. This time I had my image "The Silver Dollar Room" in the show.

The Silver Dollar RoomThe Silver Dollar RoomThe Silver Dollar Room - one of Toronto's truly great and historic music venues. So many legends have played there. Here's hoping The Silver Dollar Room survives a proposed condo development for the site and retains it's distinct character. The Silver Dollar Room

The 2019 InFocus Exhibit will take place in February 2019. I am thrilled to again be part of the show. This time two of my images - Grid City and Gooderham Snowfall - are part of the show. Gooderham Snowfall is eligible for the annual People's Choice Award. The winner is chosen by voting, which is daily until February 6th. I would love your vote!


Picture 2050

I had a wonderful time participating in Picture 2050 - a photo contest with an environmental theme that invited participants to envision what Toronto could be like in the year 2050. I was thrilled to receive some recognition for my images which were part of a gallery in City Hall.

Island KayaksIsland KayaksA view of the city from the Toronto Islands.

This image was selected as an Honourable Mention in the
Picture 2050 photo contest.
To read more about the contest, you are welcome to view my blog post here.
Island Kayaks - an image selected for exhibit by Picture 2050

Picture 2050 images on display in Toronto City Hall.

To learn more and view additional photos please visit my blog post about Picture 2050.


Photo Ed Field Trip

In early May PhotoEd Magazine held a forum for teachers who teach photography. I was allowed to participate as someone who intends to teach photography. It was a wonderful event. Below is a photo I captured that day. To hear and see more about the event, click here to see my blog post about the day.

Give Love

Guest Photography

On several occasions I have had the opportunity to be a guest photographer with Project Kids and Cameras - a wonderful program run by talented photographer Diana Nazareth. In late May 2018 I had the opportunity to do so once again. This photo is from one of my visits in 2017...





Click here to learn more about Project Kids and Cameras upcoming workshop opportunities!


Live Music

I haven't shot live music in clubs very much in the past year or two, but in 2018 I got out to capture a few bands for Canadian Music Week once again. Here are a few highlights...

Booklyn Doran at Night Owl

Royal Prospect, from Sweden, performing at Night Owl

Sean William Clarke at The Paddock

In related music matters - I have had a great time being the official photographer for Air Guitar Canada for the past several years. Here are a few images from the 2018 championships - the winner of which went to represent Canada at the World Air Guitar Championships in Finland...


Art Shows

I love getting out to art shows to share my work. People are so kind and the feedback on my images is very encouraging. This year I participated in the Danforth East Arts Fair, Queen West Art Crawl, Spring and Holiday Artisans Market at Sick Kids, The Leslieville Flea Holiday Market, and the West Rouge Holiday Market. Below is an Instagram post featuring some of the fantastic volunteers at the Queen West Art Crawl.


View this post on Instagram

Many thanks to the hardworking organizers and volunteers of the @queenwestartcrawl, including Anna, Fan and Troye, pictured here, who came by my booth to lend a hand. Thanks also to my friend @thabulos for helping me set up and tear down my booth. And thanks to you for visiting and for supporting my work! Art shows are a lot work. I definitely can't do them on my own. I am especially thankful as this was the best weekend art show I've ever done! Stay tuned as I will be participating in some holiday markets in November and December. Thanks again all! #QWAC #queenwestartcrawl #queenstreetwest #westqueenwest #artshow #artsfair #artsTO #artphotography #booklovers #gooderhambuilding #ilovetoronto #torontolife #blogto #toronto_insta #streetsoftoronto #SeeTorontoNow #culturesnap #culturesnapphotography

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To see my art images and photo pillows click here. To receive updates on my shows and photo art news, send me your email and I will add you to my e-mail list (only 4-6 emails per year).


Trip to Portland and Seattle

I had a wonderful time visiting Portland and Seattle with two good friends in July 2018. Here is a photo that I shared on Instagram that I will include in an upcoming blog post (or two!) about the trip...





Event Photography

In November 2018 was invited to document National Children's Day for Children First Canada - a meaningful organization that works to raise awareness, and to implement change, so that children are respected and can live healthy childhoods. National Children's Day gathered participants from across Canada to discuss issues that are pressing to children and youth. Here are a few images from the day...

Contact me to discuss how I can help document the great work of your non-profit organization!


Documentary Work

Since late 2017 I have been working on a new documentary project that celebrates older shoe and shoe repair stores of Toronto. I have photographed and interviewed on video owners of about seven stores since I began. The below Instagram post shows one store that I visited in November 2018.


View this post on Instagram

Since December 2017 I have been documenting older shoe seller and shoe repair stores of Toronto, all part of a new project I’m calling “Old World Shoes”. Today I had the privilege of interviewing the second and third generation owners of DAVIDS shoe stores at their flagship store at Bay and Bloor. It was moving to hear the story of how they began, and how they got to where they are today. I am so thankful to David and Richard Markowitz for their participation. I’m also extremely thankful to SJ Kim (@sj_k1m_xy) a student who has been interning with me, for his great help today, and on a number of other projects. There’s a long way to go before I finish this project, but I’m happy for this step in the journey. #thankful #davids #davidsshoes #shoes #shoesellers #oldworldshoes #toronto #blogto #torontolife #documentaryphotography #torontodocumentary #torontodocumentaryphotographer #culturesnap #culturesnapphotography

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I am very thankful to all the store owners who shared their stories with me. I am also very thankful to SJ Kim, a student who interned with me this past year. SJ helped in a number of ways, but especially with several photo and video shoots for my shoe store project.

Thank you SJ!


Stay tuned for updates on my shoe store project by following me on Twitter, Facebook or on Instagram.  If you know a store I should feature, please send me a message!

Film Shooting

George Street DinerGeorge Street DinerThe classic diner along Richmond Street east of Jarvis. A number of movies have been filmed here including "The F Word" (also known as "What If") with Daniel Radcliffe.
This image was shot on Kodak Ektar film and is available as a print.
George Street Diner

I had so much fun shooting film in 2017, I did even more in 2018. Here are my blogs on the subject:

- A Year in Colour Film - Part Two

- A Year in Black and White Film

- A Year in Colour Film - Part One

- All In WIth a Half Frame Camera

- Toronto Street Photography on Kodak Portra 400 Film

- Back to Film

Thanks for sticking with me in 2018! I wish you all the best in 2019!

Culture Snap Photography features the work of Toronto-based photographer Henry VanderSpek. Henry specializes in documenting the work of local and international non-profit organizations, special events, live music, street and art photography. To hire Henry for an assignment, please click here to get in touch.
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